A Magical Trail

Years ago, we did some limited logging on our property. In the after-math we cleared a trail behind our house. Back when I was able to run I jogged along this trail while my son napped.  I would pick up the debris and stack it neatly along the sides, planning to go back and clean it up. Fast forward a couple of decades later this trail had overgrown, and the piles lay buried underneath it.

Recently we had to clear around our house to be certified for wildfires for our home insurance. It was a job too big for us so we hired someone to do the clearing. The end-result was the required cleared area, but there was also a huge pile of branches, small trees, and bushes blocking what used to be the entrance to this trail. We were certified but left with a mess on the rim of the cleared area. I mentioned to my husband in passing this is where we used to walk. That’s all it took.

My husband declared he would bring back our trail. It would be a peaceful walk, no dogs off their leash coming at our leashed dogs or dodging cars on the street. I said that’s too much work, but he didn’t listen.

So, he headed outside with his saw, clippers, rake, and chainsaw. He spent his weekends clearing. I would come out at times and do some minor trimming behind him to help–or until my arms said no more. He finally cleared the original path and we took our first official walk. I was happy, but my husband wasn’t satisfied.

He went off in another direction. He found an area we’ve never explored. A spot I declared would be the perfect campsite or a place to sit and relax. So, as he kept extending the trail, I drug my small white table and chairs that had been sitting unused on my back deck to this spot. They found their perfect home there. Right next to the table was an old tree that had been cut down, but on the sides of it were burn marks. Lightening, I wondered? That’s when I decided this was not only a pretty spot, but a magical one. Here a tree had gotten struck by lightning and there had been no fire. That was magical in my mind, especially since, at that point, we were in high fire danger. This was a protected place where bad didn’t happen I concluded.

Then, I went back to clipping limbs. In one spot I found a tree I didn’t recognize. So, I took a picture and sent it to my son who is majoring in Biology. I thought it might be an offspring of a Redwood tree we’d planted years ago, but it turned out to be a Pacific Yew. I’d never heard of that, but was glad it was growing on our trail, along with the Pine, Douglas-fir, Oak, Pacific Madrone, California Dogwood, Big-leaf Maple and the most prolific tree of all the Cedar.

My husband continued cutting and digging through blackberry brush and a part he called the jungle. Finally, he came out near the beginning after I guided him in the right direction with my voice. Yes, it was that overgrown. As he emerged from the perfect walking path he still wasn’t done. He started decorating it with wind chimes, a bench, and garden statues, while I added some outdoor Christmas ornaments.

So, now I take the dogs on an afternoon walk on our trail. We tread in a place where only the bears, deer and raccoons had roamed. Our black cat Coco likes to follow us, while pretending he isn’t.

This trail is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received–created by the best person I’ve ever known. A place of peace and magic. It’s nothing you could ever buy in a store and it lasts forever. Someday it just might show up in a story. Now my hope is that everyone gets a magical trail in their lives in one form or another.


Happy Birthday to the trail maker!


Don’t miss the Reading Room where the author’s read their work. It’s so amazing to hear the words being read by the writer. You’ll find me among them reading the beginning of “The Button”. It’s something I’ve wanted to do but have always been nervous to do so.  Getting past “thinking” about it and “doing” it, is just one of the things Rave Reviews Book Club has done for me.

So, that was my favorite part of the Pop-Up Book Shop–besides shopping. I have a lot of new indie books to put under my tree this year.

Embrace your inner child with life’s magic. D.L. Finn

25 thoughts on “A Magical Trail”

  1. Oh my goodness, Denise! That is a true “one-for-the-books” Christmas story! What an amazing gift that you will enjoy for the rest of your life. Your story and pictures made me want to walk on your trail. Just beautiful! Happy Birthday to your trailblazing husband!

    1. Thank you Jan. It is a pretty amazing gift from the heart not the store…the best kind. I wished you lived close enough to walk on it. I will pass on your birthday wishes:)

  2. Oh, lucky you! The trail sounds positively awesome–and magical. I bet is will be especially entrancing during summer twilight. What an amazing gift!!

    1. I feel really lucky and spoiled:) Yes, perfect summer twilight trail, along with a place to have my cup of tea…maybe a picnic. So many options… like snow shoeing, too.

  3. Holy Hannah! It’s hard enough to imagine a husband doing anything with a “mentioned in passing,” but all that! I need a pneumatic lift to pick my jaw up off the floor. Does he have a brother? (Just kidding — I’m over that. 😉 )
    It truly does sound magical, Denise. Here on the east coast, people wouldn’t think how very easily a lightning strike could cause a devastating fire, but five years in Albuquerque taught me differently. I’m so glad your beautiful home and area were spared then and these recent times. Coco is so lovely! Hugs on the wing.

    1. I’m not sure how I got so lucky Teagan, but I did…lol.
      According to my weather app the fires were 44 miles away…too close and very real. Still processing and figuring out how to help. Could have easily been us and our town. We feel lucky this year.
      I’ve never been to Albuquerque, its on my traveling list though.
      Coco is our big guy (I’m waiting for him to finally hit 20 pounds–so close) and spoiled along with the rest.of our kitties:) Thanks Teagan hugs back.

    1. Yes, that is very true Staci:) We tried to spoil him on his day:)Thank you Staci, we will and are enjoying all our blessings and hope the same for you.

  4. Oh wow. What a beautiful place! And your husband did a wonderful job (can he come to my place and help my husband get some stuff done?? 😉 ) Wow. That is a perfect place to walk and relax and absorb the natural creative energies. And a path like that does indeed deserve a place in a magical story. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful place!

    1. Thanks Julie:) It’s only taken us a couple of decades to do this…lol. I find so much peace in around the trees or at the beach…so glad I can have that so close to me. I’ll see if he wants to make a trip…;)
      Yes, I’m sure something will come to mind when I’m out there alone and I hear a twig snap.

  5. Aww, you have a wonderful hubby, Denise. And what a fantastic Christmas gift––your very own magical forest. Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing. You and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season. <3 xo

    1. Thank you Vashti, I am lucky! The magic of the forest of the best gift ever. I hope you and your loved ones have a fantastic holiday season, too. We’re all glad you got your gift early. xo

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